Not quite daddy

Lauren Vane

A FOX reality show seems an unlikely stage for a new actor with a

resume already full of television and film roles.

But as one local man will say, it's not easy to break into the

acting business and someone starting out should never turn down an

opportunity to act.

Laguna Beach resident Ed Gillow recently appeared on FOX's reality

show, "Who's Your Daddy?," a show that offers a $100,000 cash prize

to a woman if she can pick her biological father, whom she's never

met, out of a group of eight men.

Though the show, dubbed by FOX as "a reunion show like no other"

has been slammed by adoption organizations and other critics, Gillow

thought it was a heartwarming story that he enjoyed taking part in.

"Personally, I feel good doing it because in my mind it was a good

cause, reuniting a child with her birth parents," Gillow said.

In "Who's Your Daddy?," Gillow played one of eight potential

fathers of the show's star, a woman they called "T.J."

There were a total of eight men to whom T.J. was introduced and

had a chance to talk to, but only one was her real father, Gillow

said.

T.J. had to decide, based on her brief interactions with these

men, which one was her real father, Gillow said.

Before filming the show, Gillow said he was given a small amount

of information about the details; he knew that T.J. was adopted and

had never met her birth parents. The show was filmed in a mansion in

Thousand Oaks, and Gillow said he and the other men on the show were

kept separate from each other and no one knew who the real father

was.

When T.J. first met all of her potential fathers, Gillow said it

was an emotional moment for everyone.

"You would have paid money to see the look on her face when we

walked through that door," Gillow said.

"You couldn't help but be affected by looking at her."

Gillow is an actor who is still new to the business and said that

the show presented a challenge for him to try and convince T.J. that

he might be her real father.

Gillow has no children of his own and said he enjoyed playing the

role.

"If you just stay open to the moment and let it affect you, you

don't really have to act," Gillow said.

Gillow found his way to reality TV by way of the casting circuit,

he said.

About four years ago, he left an engineering career and started

working as an extra on TV and in movies. He later took acting lessons

and now has expanded his work to independent films and larger

television roles, Gillow said.

Gillow's wife, Joan Gladstone, said that she is proud of how far

her husband has come in his acting career.

"It gives me and a lot of people we know inspiration that if you

have a dream and you take steps to accomplish it you can make it

happen," Gladstone said.

Though Gillow views his appearance on "Who's Your Daddy?" as a

positive experience, reality television is not the direction he wants

his career to go, he said.

"As actors, it's kind of a joke doing reality shows," Gillow said.

It is common for actors who are just starting out to land roles in

reality television, Gillow said.

"The incentive is the exposure and the chance to push yourself a

bit," Gillow said.

"It's the bane of every actor's existence, but how many of us have

done it?"

Gladstone said that although she did not think the show gave her

husband a chance to showcase his talents, she said it was a good

opportunity for him.

"I'm happy that he's working, I'm happy that he's being selected

for these roles," Gladstone said.

In the show's conclusion, T.J. eliminated Gillow's group of

"fathers" in the first round and she did pick her real father, Gillow

said.

T.J. was awarded with a $100,000 prize and the opportunity to

finally get to know her real father.

"She just seemed to know," Gillow said.

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